How do you get an 8 year old to stop lying and start actually paying attention in class???

Chelsey - posted on 01/27/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My step son has started living with us in June of 08. I know he's having a hard time adjusting and things are hard on him...but I can't seem to get him to stop lying to me. He also throws these ridiculous fits...and he's not doing that well in school anymore. Granted he came from a very small country school and now is in a very advanced school district...I know he's a little behind...but he won't pay attention in class. He's playing and talking and doing everything else but paying attention. Grounding him doesn't even seem to be working anymore...any advice? I could def use some! Thanks!

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Chelsey - posted on 01/27/2009

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He is actually very smart when he pays attention. He can do VERY well in class...I contact with the teacher very frequently and she says that he just won't pay attention when they are going over things. He is always talking (which like you say is normal for his age) and always distracting everyone and trying to be the class clown and he just won't pay attention. We go over his homework every night but he says he understands it and I'm still learning to read him in that aspect. We made a lot of progress tonight though...I've realized that in his last school they did not teach him very well his multipication tables...he doesn't know them at all. I know that a lot of what he does is when he gets discouraged he shuts down like Amber mentioned...I think that may have a lot to do with it since you need multipication...but it's really all areas...not just one course in particular. We're trying really hard. It's hard to find the balance in being understanding and trying to help him adjust...but at the same time there are things we just can't let him get away with...like throwing his grades down the drain or not listening or obeying at all. The emotional breakdown makes sense and I've thought about that...I appreciate all the help ladies! It's difficult sometimes but the rewards of the children are always worth it! I just want to be and do the best things possible for him!

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Mmmm, this is a complex issue. Your stepson is in a totally new environment and that can be very scary. He's moved to a new town, a new home, and with a new family dynamic. Imagine moving to a new town, getting a new job, and living with a bunch of people who you kinda know! Top it off with a steep learning curve at the new job and that is a lot like what your stepson is going through.

Talking in class is totally typical for this age, too. Have you read "Your Eight Year Old"? It's helped me tons with my eight year old daughter. The fits sound like he reaches an emotional breaking point and can't cope anymore and just blows up. I have that style of temper too, and it's hard on all involved. With my daughter she'll get to a point and start crying. All I can do is hug her and remove her from whatever is causing her stress until she calms down and can handle it better.

I always sat down with my daughter with her home work and we went over it together. Does the teacher say if he is having problems with certain subjects, or is it just the talking? Maybe you can sit with him and practice paying attention? It seems silly to us, but it really helps the kids. It also helps them a lot to know this is a skill they have to practice at and they will need for the rest of their lives.

Amber - posted on 01/27/2009

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My son Robert was having a difficult transition into middle school. When he came home with a bad report card his was restricted from tv, and games. until the next report came out. It was ruff on him and me making sure he followed the rule but it worked.

You may also want to try a tutor, Maybe he is having trouble in a certain subject and is shutting down for everything else. Like a learning center that can help you figure out his strengths and weaknesses. HTH!

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